She would get $15, $10 or even $5, making $65 the maximum she may receive, with her allowance. There must be thousands of mothers across the country who are supporting younger children. The son in the army is perhaps the oldest, and she has come to depend almost entirely upon, his income. I have personal knowledge of numbers of such cases, where the mother still has to support younger children. There is a
feeling that there should be no ceiling, that the mother should be permitted to earn what she can and still receive her allowance. I am also told that the mother gets no cost-of-living bonus, which is paid to wives. I should like to know the basis for that discrimination. In the first place thie mother gets an allowance of $10 less than the wife; in the second place there is a ceiling placed on her income, and in the third place the mother is not given the cost-of-living bonus. I think that is discrimination.
placed on earnings is because of the feature of dependency which is required to be shown in the case of a mother and which does not need to be shown in the case of a wife. The idea is that the country does not contribute if the mother is earning $65 a month; that means she is not in a dependent condition, and that is the reason. I tried to explain to the hon. member for Comox-iAIberni-I am afraid not very successfully-why there is a difference in principle between the allowance to the mother and the allowance to the wife. The one has what is not very popular, the means test, while the other has not. I think perhaps in that one sentence I have dealt with the question of the ceiling and the matter of dependency. What was the other distinction?
I want to support what has just been said in regard to mothers' allowances. Although the minister has said something about it just now, I protested last year by stating that I never could quite see why a mother who is absolutely dependent upon her son, a mother perhaps with two or three children, did not come in the same category as a wife. However, I hope something may be worked out in that connection.
I should also like to support the hon. member for Souris and several other hon. members who have spoken respecting wives whose husbands have been absent without leave.
There are one or two other questions I should like to ask the minister. The first refers to a man Who has been discharged from the army, at his own request, because of sickness, or some other reason along those lines. Is such a man entitled to clothing allowance?
That would seem unfair in some cases. I have in mind a man who was discharged because his wife was unable to take care of his family. Perhaps he should not have been in the army, to start with, but 'the fact is that he was in the army. I was wondering if those cases are reviewed, or if there is a hard-and-fast rule concerning it. Are they ever given an alternative?
No. My hon. friend will understand that the rehabilitation grant is exactly what it states, namely a grant for the purpose of refitting a man into civilian life. The assumption is that if he takes the option and requests a discharge, he has somewhere to go, some occupation at which he may be engaged. Otherwise he would not be asking for the discharge.
Under the circumstances, when he comes back he has to find somewhere to go. Is that a hard-and-fast rule, or would those cases be reviewed? In such cases I should think the few dollars he would get as rehabilitation allowance would be very acceptable to his family, in fact, would be a godsend.